If you've read any of my books (and I hope you have) then you know that the men I write about are not shy in showing their emotions. They express disappointment, hug their mothers and grandmothers and aren't afraid to cry.
I've been told that this isn't realistic. That men must remain silent and stoic, only showing how they feel through actions, not words. That a man won't freely say "I love you."
That real men don't show emotion.
Is that what we want to portray? That men are insensitive people who show more attention to their beer and cars than they do toward the person they love?
I call BS on that.
One of the first things you learn when you take a course on writing is to "write what you know." Anyone who's met me and met my husband knows that he is, for lack of a better word, talkative. He is not the strong silent type. He likes to talk. A lot. And he's emotional—he cries at commercials.
Oh, and did I mention he loves to shop?
Yes I married an anomaly. So I am writing what I know. For almost 30 years I've been married to a man whose personality I've used bits and pieces of all my characters. He has a touch of Micah's arrogance, along with Josh's sweetness, Ryder ad Rafe's love and care of animals and Julian's love of good fashion. My husband was a wonderful son like Zach was to his mom and he loves a good party like Marcus. And like Alex, my husband lost a baby brother, although not his twin.
So I'm here to say that I love writing men who show their feelings. It doesn't make them less manly, or make them wimpy or effeminate (what does that even mean?). I plan to keep writing men who aren't afraid to cry at a corny movie or have a tender moment with their lover. If we are truly striving toward equality, we should want everyone to feel safe to take the hand of the one they love in public and give them a kiss without fear of being laughed at, thought of as weak or " a woman." If we want to insist that love is love and everyone is equal, then we should not only allow men to be emotional, we should encourage it.
What do you think?